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What is it?

  • Working in groups to create shared products, problem solve, or work toward common goals
  • Recognizing and valuing the individual contributions of each group member
  • Creating structures for all group members to contribute and participate in shared decision making
  • Providing opportunities for students to be an authentic audience for each other 


Provide a structure for student collaboration and guide groups with appropriate and rigorous challenges


Engage in dialogue and problem solving with peers to create ideas or products that represent 
shared vision

How can I implement in the classroom?

  • Facilitate student learning using a variety of collaborative structures such as jigsaw, inquiry circles, etc.
  • Use room arrangements conducive to classroom collaboration
  • Teach students basics of accountable student conversation (face-to-face and virtual) in order to enhance student collaboration
  • Arrange for outside expert collaboration with students face-to-face or virtually

Expert Groups - High School Biology


How to do a Fishbowl


Why does it work?

"To build skills and habits for lifelong, responsible learning, students must learn how to work with others." 

From Best Practice: Bringing Standards to Life in America, pg. 230, Steven Zemelman, Harvey "Smokey" Daniel, Arthur Hyde


Digital Tools that Work

81Dash Blackboard Discussion Boards Edmodo 
EtherPad Google Community Google Drive
Padlet Realtime Board Trello


Activities that Work

  • Flexible shifting of classroom and groupings
  • Literature circles
  • Turn and talk
  • Partner reading & discussion
  • Inquiry circles
  • Whole-class meetings
  • Timed-pair-share
  • Numbered heads together
  • Carousel
  • Group-Go-Group
  • Backchanneling
  • Think/pair/share
  • Jigsaw
  • Homework help board
  • Rubric evaluation
  • C3B4ME (see 3 before me)
  • Student reporter
  • Group-based test prep
  • Error classification